Black and purple bunting placed outside Queens firehouse in memory of fallen FDNY firefighter
Ladder 134 in Far Rockaway, Queens hung a black and purple bunting outside the firehouse Friday in memory of fallen firefighter Jesse Gerhard.
Gerhard's family and fellow firefighters stood together in mourning as bunting went up.
His colleagues said he was a loyal and dedicated firefighter who will be missed. They also praised him for his last heroic act of choosing to be an organ donor.
The group Live on New York tells News 12 Gerhard was an organ donor and that his donation of tissue could change the lives of as many as 50-75 people.
"He was a very hard worker," says Firefighter Carl Kretkowski, who worked with Gerhard for four years. "He always wanted to learn. He was a sponge."
Gerhard was just 33 years old and served the city of New York for seven years. He was also a volunteer firefighter on Long Island.
Late Wednesday night, the FDNY says he suffered a medical episode and was rushed to the hospital but did not survive.
His death was just one day after he responded to a two-alarm fire at a home on Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway.
Officials say the fire is believed to have been accidental and caused by issues with the electrical wiring in the basement.
The FDNY says it was a hot and strenuous fire for those who responded.
It's not clear if Gerhard's death is connected to that fire, but the FDNY says it's all part of their investigation.
A wake will be held for Gerhard on Feb. 22 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Frederick J. Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in East Islip.
Gerhard will be laid to rest on Feb. 23 at 1:30 p.m.at St. Patricks Roman Catholic Church in Bay Shore, Long Island.